Laurel Canyon


Laurel Canyon

Critics Consensus

Though the movie itself is flawed, McDormand is fantastic as Jane.



Total Count: 110


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,217
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Movie Info

Writer/director Lisa Cholodenko follows up her much-acclaimed 1997 debut High Art with this examination of a young couple seduced into a hedonistic, left-coast lifestyle. Taking its title from its central locale, Laurel Canyon focuses on a pair of upper-middle class lovebirds from the East Coast who relocate to Los Angeles. Freshly minted from Harvard, Sam (Christian Bale) and Alex (Kate Beckinsale) are eager to continue their medical studies out West, but they need some lodging while they hunt for a home. Enter Jane (Frances McDormand), Sam's estranged, Age-of-Aquarius mom, who's more than willing to put the couple up in her lavish digs. Jane is a successful record producer whose latest charge -- both in the studio and in her bedroom -- is Ian (Alessandro Nivola), a brazen, libidinous twentysomething Brit-rocker. As Sam and Alex settle in at Jane's, they gradually lose their straight-and-narrow approach to life and begin to experiment. Alex takes to Ian and Jane, while Sam is wooed by co-worker Sara (Natascha McElhone). Laurel Canyon features a score by Shudder to Think's Craig Wedren; the music for Ian's band was provided by Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous and indie-rockers Folk Implosion.

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Critic Reviews for Laurel Canyon

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (75) | Rotten (35)

Audience Reviews for Laurel Canyon

  • Nov 19, 2009
    A good dramatic story with a comedic side. It relies on the acting talents to carry the story, who do that quite well. Christian Bale, Kate Beckinsale and Frances McDormand all gave strong performances and worked quite well together. I feel that the movie lacked a message, but it was still enjoyable.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2008
    "Christan Bale and Kate Beckansale deliver a wonderful delight" I really enjoyed this movie. This one of Christan Bale's first and best films. Its about alot of things like affairs, relationships, mother and son, and rockers who do anything for sex. Its a big drama that anyone can enjoy. Watch this movie because it delivers more than you'd think.
    Corey W Super Reviewer
  • May 24, 2008
    Christian Bale is brilliant as always but the rest of the film isn't. It's a character piece (and thankfully short), but it does appear to be an exercise in making Kate Beckinsale strip down to her underwear (thanks to a no-nudity clause) every ten minutes...all very well, but is a plot too much to ask for? Saying that, Frances McDormand is very good also. One for diehard Kate Beckinsale fans.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 04, 2008
    Sex,Drugs and Rock and roll.Oh I forgot the Icing on the cake the best part lol,Christian Bale.A pretty good Movie,I had been wanting to see this one for a while now.
    .:SexiVixxEN : Super Reviewer

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